Rigby Big Game Vs Heym Express vs Mauser 98

Northern Shooter

AH fanatic
Joined
Mar 19, 2023
Messages
674
Reaction score
903
Location
Well North of Toronto.
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
I made an earlier post about premium bolt action rifles and these 3 seemed to be the most popular choices. I'd like to pick up a a real special feeling rifle that feels a cut or two above my Model 70.

For those of you that have owned one or several of these models, what are your impressions? How does one compare to the others?

When it comes to smoothness of the action, craftsmanship, stock design, accuracy (etc), who does it best?

Also open to additional suggestions of other models, I know a few people were big fan sof the Dakota 76.
 
Last edited:
I have owned a Rigby Big Game in 416 and currently have one in 404J. Also owned a Mauser 98 in 450 Rigby. Mauser makes the barreled actions used by Rigby so they are really identical in that regard. Between those two it will just be a matter of personal preference on if you like the Mauser or Rigby finishing and looks. Have not owned a Heym Express but checked out a few when I was fitted for an 89B. Very nice rifles and definitely in the same class as the Rigby and Mauser. In the larger calibers I would call it a toss up based on personal preference. In 375 H&H I would choose the Heym every day. The Mauser and Rigby are too big and heavy in that caliber. Heyms are built more caliber specific so I think it makes a much more nimble package.
 
I have owned a Rigby Big Game in 416 and currently have one in 404J. Also owned a Mauser 98 in 450 Rigby. Mauser makes the barreled actions used by Rigby so they are really identical in that regard. Between those two it will just be a matter of personal preference on if you like the Mauser or Rigby finishing and looks. Have not owned a Heym Express but checked out a few when I was fitted for an 89B. Very nice rifles and definitely in the same class as the Rigby and Mauser. In the larger calibers I would call it a toss up based on personal preference. In 375 H&H I would choose the Heym every day. The Mauser and Rigby are too big and heavy in that caliber. Heyms are built more caliber specific so I think it makes a much more nimble package.
Thanks for the input. I'm leaning towards a 416 Rigby as I already own a 375 and 458.

416 seems the most fitting in a Rigby rifle but I'm open to all 3.
 
I own a Rigby Big Game in 416, and I can state it's super accurate, smooth, well made, and functional. The wood is gorgeous and the proportions are perfect. It was made by Paul Roberts in London, and to me, it's the perfect DG rifle.
I've shot quite a few Winch 70 and CZ, but never an African 98 ( ...in some way I did, since the action of my Rigby is a Mauser) nor an Heym.
I'm sure that with proper action tuning and metalwork, some rifles do wonderful things, equal (or better?) than mine.
But one of the most special ingredients of mine, something that is not easily measurable - but is unquestionably present - is its great charm.
It's a quality I don't feel in many other guns, especially today, and that's something that really sets it apart.
20220508_134355.jpg
 
The heym is very nice...if I was going for a 404 probably be my choice...in 416 I would go for the rigby....but then am a rigby boy...:A Thumbs Up:...also have looked and played with the m98 in bigger cals and didn't quite do it for me...it is very nice but prefer the feel of the rigby...the m98 in smaller calibres is lovely..and I have a 7x57 in it..
 
Very nice 416 on Ralf's site now.

Side by side, this is a much finer rifle than the Rigby for less $$
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot 2023-08-27 at 8.31.44 AM Large.jpeg
    Screenshot 2023-08-27 at 8.31.44 AM Large.jpeg
    127.6 KB · Views: 110
  • Screenshot 2023-08-27 at 8.31.45 AM Large.jpeg
    Screenshot 2023-08-27 at 8.31.45 AM Large.jpeg
    142.2 KB · Views: 84
  • Screenshot 2023-08-27 at 8.31.46 AM Large.jpeg
    Screenshot 2023-08-27 at 8.31.46 AM Large.jpeg
    252 KB · Views: 72
  • Screenshot 2023-08-27 at 8.31.47 AM Large.jpeg
    Screenshot 2023-08-27 at 8.31.47 AM Large.jpeg
    164.8 KB · Views: 68
  • Screenshot 2023-08-27 at 8.31.50 AM Large.jpeg
    Screenshot 2023-08-27 at 8.31.50 AM Large.jpeg
    213.9 KB · Views: 60
  • Screenshot 2023-08-27 at 8.31.51 AM Large.jpeg
    Screenshot 2023-08-27 at 8.31.51 AM Large.jpeg
    208.3 KB · Views: 88
I like the Heym in .375HH, as shown in my avatar, but cannot compare it to the Rigby or Mauser, as I never had a chance to shoot them.

I did try a Dakota at the range, must have been 30 years ago, but still remember it made a very good impression !
 
That is a very good price for the rifle on Martini’s website. Not sure how much it would cost to import from Canada, but I believe the total for rifle and importing would be cheaper than buying a rifle with the same enhancements from Heym. Plus, you would get it sooner. The last I heard, the wait was around 18 months from Heym.
 
All are good. The folks at John Rigby & Co. don't think particularly highly of monolithic bullets being used in their rifles. Heym and Mauser don't have any problems against monolithic bullets.

I personally like the Mauser Model 98 Diplomat the most. But you can't go wrong with any of these 3 choices.
 
Re-sale aside, If you’re going to spend $15-20k on a production rifle, why not go the custom route?
 
This discussion is a little like asking whether you prefer a Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, or an Aston Martin DB 11? Both are beautiful cars. The Mercedes has precise German engineering and technology. The Aston Martin has beautiful hand finishing and workmanship.
Same with Heym vs. Rigby. I own a 416 Rigby Big Game, which I really like, but I've handled Heym bolt rifles in several calibers, and a hunting friend in camp last year had a new Heym bolt rifle in 404J that was really beautiful.
For me, I like the Rigby, but you can't go wrong with the Heym.
 
This discussion is a little like asking whether you prefer a Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, or an Aston Martin DB 11? Both are beautiful cars. The Mercedes has precise German engineering and technology. The Aston Martin has beautiful hand finishing and workmanship.
Same with Heym vs. Rigby. I own a 416 Rigby Big Game, which I really like, but I've handled Heym bolt rifles in several calibers, and a hunting friend in camp last year had a new Heym bolt rifle in 404J that was really beautiful.
For me, I like the Rigby, but you can't go wrong with the Heym.

Nah unfortunately the AMG GT has now got 4 wheel drive....and it's now the DB12....which is still rear wheel drive...so the only choice.... :E Shrug:...ps both basically same 4 litre v8 AMG engines....just tuned differently...;)
 
I own 3 Rigbys . A 375 H&H Big Game DSB, a 416 Rigby SSB PH and a Highland Stalker in 30-06.

All tack drive. Can’t fault anything on any of them. Beautiful rifles. Have no experience with any of the others.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
55,124
Messages
1,171,038
Members
95,804
Latest member
JennaWooll
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

A.A. wrote on Msprenger!'s profile.
Are you still looking for a 375 H&H?
NRA Life, ASSRA Life, GGCA Life
Sable @ the lodge this morning

Buffalo encounter this morning!

here with available dates for 2024/25

1-13 September 2024
14-31 October 2024
1-7 November 2024
18-24 November 2024

March 2025 is wide open!
12-17 April 2025
24-28 May 2025
15-21 June 2025
7-12 July 2025
22-28 July 2025
13-31 August 2025
15-30 September 2025

October and November 2025 is wide open!
 
Top